Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Needed A Brainwave & Two Came Along At Once – Brilliant

Posted on August 30th 2010 | Leave a comment

Yeah, writing one of the new book’s space battle chapters; went into it with my usual scrappy string of notes which led me into a mild, force 6 narrative corner from which I bounded free on the back of a coupla geniustications. Love it when a plan comes together.

And it turns out to be better than the original plan.

In other news, of the dozen or so scratchcards I’ve bought in the last couple of months just ONE actually paid out the princely sum of £1. Uh huh.

Recently we’ve been on a swords & sandals kick visavis our dvd watchings (over dinner and last thing at night) – began with Spartacus: Blood & Sand (saw the 1st season of this and, gore and raunch aside, it turned out to be actually really good, great acting too), then watched both seasons of Rome (treating ourselves again to the delights of Titus Pullo, Lucius Vorenus, and Mark Anthony and Attia, that whole crowd), then finished off with I Claudius, which we’d last watched on VHS. The transfer to DVD was v good, the packaging was quite good (came on 5 dvds, including a disc of extras), but oddly there was no insert to tell you about episode lengths, summaries, that kind of thing. Would be have been handy since the DVD version has amalgamated the 1st 2 episodes into a 97 minute one, and we were confused when it went on and on. But the whole production was excellent, just BBC drama at its very pinnacle.

To round it off I think we should also watch Life of Brian, just to get things in perspective.

Latest watch, season 4 of Dexter, makes compelling viewing all the way through. Excellently written and acted, and worth it all even just for the amazing reveal at the end of episode 9 – if you’ve seen it you know!

And now looks like we’ll be rewatching Cadfael, yes, with Derek Jacobi, for the sheer joy of watching him act.

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TV/DVD Recommendation – DAMAGES

Posted on August 26th 2008 | Leave a comment

I`ve become less and less of a TV watcher over the last few years, as TeeVee has devolved into a medium for the furtherance of marketing and other varieties of pandering. But through the swamp-torrents of audiovisual slime like Big Brother and Pop Idol there occasionally can be found, like diamonds prospected from the mud, a great series or a documentary or a film. DAMAGES is just such a thing, a gritty legal drama which makes Boston Legal look like Jackanory – and I`m a big BL fan!

It stars Glenn Close as top lawyer Patty Hewes, head honcho at Hewes Associates; Ted Danson (yup, he of CHEERS fame) plays Arthur Frobisher, a mega wealthy businessman whose big corporation crashed, leaving thousands of employees out of work and pension, yet he himself managed to offload his own stock – this is the main driving motivation of the narrative, in that Patty Hewes is representing the former workers against Frobisher who, if he loses, will lose practically everything. Let the party begin.

And it is a vicious party, full of doubletalk, backstabbing, divide and rule, assassination, beatings and other coercion, fabulous and intricate lies, and the character of Patty Hewes who towers over the entire imbroglio like an unholy hybrid of Aunt Livia from I Claudius and the Evil Queen from the 10th Kingdom. Also, the series employs a fairly daring time structure; the 1st episode begins with one of the main characters, Ellen Parsons, running from a building, bloodstained and shoeless, and ending up in custody – and most of the rest of the narrative is a massive flashback from that point, beginning 6 months in the past. A couple of times per episode you get a brief glimpse of how Ellen is doing and what happened to get her in the state she`s in, which demands that you pay attention. I mean, just a bit. The acting is great, the dialogue is sharp, the plotting is suitably twisty and bedecked with mini surprises and revelations as it progresses.

And as a demonstration of plausibly ruthless and heartless people it is superb, while of course we hope that they get whats coming to them. It has already been shown on the Beeb, but is out on DVD (region 1) so track it down. Worth every penny.

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